|The 'Anna needs love' chapter|
|Airdate||November 17, 2014|
"Come on, Anna! You have to go out sometime."
The mass of blankets that Rapunzel was currently trying to reason with shuffled slightly in what she could only assume was a shake of the head. The brunette sighed, rubbing a hand through her short hair. A quick glance at the clock told her that she'd been trying to convince her stubborn cousin for almost fifteen minutes and she was going to be late to class.
A muffled mess of noise wafted from the bed, and Rapunzel leaned down closer.
"What was that?"
The blankets moved slightly, revealing the top of a freckled forehead, framed by thick red hair—strawberry blonde, as the owner would attest. Bearing a head of her own unique hair, Rapunzel was usually enraptured by her cousin's small, subtle streak of white hair sprouting from just above her left temple, but this time, her eyes were drawn to Anna's eyes, red and puffy. The girl gave a sniffle and averted her eyes, lower lip quivering.
"He said he loved me, 'Zel," she whimpered quietly. Rapunzel frowned sympathetically, but didn't say a word.
He referred to Hans, the first and hopefully last man to weasel their way into Anna's life and crush her heart. The girl had always, always worn her heart on her sleeve, but no one expected Hans—sweet, kind, charitable Hans—to be the one to break it.
A theatre major, Hans was the 'Prince' of Southern Isles University. The thirteenth son of one of the most celebrated benefactors, it was well-known that he preferred not to speak of his family, or ride their fame. He was happy, it seemed, to cleave his own way through school.
Unfortunately, he managed to cleave Anna's happy little heart in two along the way, ruthlessly undermining her as they both competed for the same scholarship; it turned out that he only dated her to get close to her—enemies and pockets.
It broke Anna's heart, and now Rapunzel was there, picking up the pieces.
"I know he did, Sweetie," she told Anna, "He lied to you and has been a real dick about everything, but you can't let him see how much he got to you, okay? You have to be strong-"
"Don't wanna," Anna's small voice burst out petulantly through the blankets, and Rapunzel almost grinned. Almost.
"Well," she said, standing up from the bed, "Let me know when you do and we can get hot chocolate." The blankets travelled down a little more, revealing Anna's red nose, her tongue darting over her lips. "Oaken's is having a sale, and I thought we could go this afternoon. But.... if you're not feeling up to it..."
She trailed off, letting the sentence hang in the air. Anna was glaring at her, eyes narrowed. Rapunzel gave a smirk and moved away, heading for the front door.
"I'll be there after class if you want to join me," she called over her shoulder, ignoring Anna's grumbles. She had just managed to close the door when a loud thump bounced off the wood.
Anna could hear her laughter all the way down the steps, but her brief moment of anger (at her cousin and now her likely-broken phone—praise the lord for indestructible Nokias) had at least broken her out of her weeping groove.
Taking a look at her clock, she realised that she had made Rapunzel late, and immediately felt a little bad. It was only ten minutes after twelve, but the fact that her cousin had actually stayed over the previous night and had been casually trying to convince her out of bed for the better part of the morning weighed on her mind.
After all, it was only a stupid boy. Of course it hadn't been true love. That only existed in movies.
But, Anna refused to let herself dwell on Hans. He was a prick and a douche and every other bad word she could think of (which, admittedly, there weren't many of) as she slowly rolled out of bed.
Two hours. She had two hours to make herself presentable (because of course she wasn't going to say no to chocolate). It would take no time at all to do her hair—because despite how unruly and unmanageable it looked, it was actually surprisingly easy to fix—and so she chose to focus on that. Baby steps.
Once her hair was brushed and pulled into twin plaits at the side of her hair, Anna let herself focus on clothes. Something light, from the looks of the sun outside, but warm. She hadn't been at SIU for long (how long was it now? four months? five?), but long enough to realise the summers were cool, and the winters cooler. It was approaching a balmy spring, but she had learnt nothing if not that the weather was unpredictable at best.
Apparently, it had even snowed in the middle of summer once (but that knowledge came second-hand from Kristoff, and Anna still wasn't convinced that it wasn't just an elaborate daydream on his part).
Shaking her head, she realised that it didn't really matter much. She'd be inside Oaken's, which always seemed to match the weather (and combat it). She had a sneaking suspicion it had to do with the sauna, but she certainly wasn't complaining.
Pulling on a light-green cardigan, she moved to the bathroom. There were traces of sleep in the corners of her eyes, and her cheeks were sticky. She found she couldn't be bothered to put on make-up (and pfft, the freckles hid most of the pimples anyway) (except that stupid one underneath her left ear), and so she grabbed her keys and wallet, completely stepping over the phone.
She was pleasantly surprised as she stepped from her dorm building and out into what had to be the nicest weather she'd experienced all school year. The sun was warm, but not blistering, and there was a breeze just cool enough to encourage people to get what was probably some much-needed exercise.
It worked on Anna, at least, who completely forewent her car in favour of strolling past the quad and down through the bustling streets of Arendelle. Well, technically, the suburb was Corona, but Anna always liked the name 'Arendelle' better. There were so many different ways to pronounce it! 'Air-en-delle' or 'Ah-ren-dale'—she'd even heard someone called it 'Aaron-delle' before!
Smiling slightly to herself, Anna made her way down the streets, glancing at the windows of the shops. Corona was a rather large shopping district, being so close to the University. Unfortunately, it meant that there was always a shortage of jobs. Anna worked as a barista in a small café, but her hours were short and often at strange times—say, a 2am-5am shift because people need coffee at all hours.
Of course, the graveyard shift meant she had her own unlimited supply of that glorious C8H10N4O2 chemical, plus the time and inclination to actually do her homework (because who does homework at home?).
Of course, it also meant that she usually had spending money that she couldn't spend because she was either working, studying, or sleeping.
Suddenly, Anna was aware of eyes on her, following her. She didn't have to look far to find the source—it seemed as though almost everyone was watching her, and her ears began burning.
Ducking into the nearest shop, just to get away, Anna glanced around and realised that she was in a pet-shop of some kind. One of those places that sold mostly pet equipment, but was part of one of the pound's outreach programs. With a glint of recognition as she gazed out the window (and her eyes aligned on the post office with the Bert and Ernie graffiti on the top right-hand corner of the window), Anna realised she actually wasn't far from Oaken's; however, before she could make a dash for the chocolate shop, she felt a light tap on her shoulder.
Turning around, Anna found herself face-to-face with a boy, probably around the same age as her.
"Welcome to Berk!" he said, smiling much too widely for someone who worked in retail. "Are you here about the dog?"
Anna looked at him blankly for a moment. "Dog?"
He began nodding. "Yeah! You're here to buy her, right?"
The action dwindled as Anna's expression remained confused, and the boy let out a small sigh. His face fell a little, but he forced himself to pick it back up. "Well, can I help you with anything else?"
Anna shook her head, but she couldn't say she wasn't a little intrigued by what the boy had said. "Why did you want to know if I was buying a dog?" she asked. He shrugged slowly.
"Well, we've had that sign-" he pointed to a crudely-drawn picture of a dog, standing on top of the word 'SALE', that was hanging in the window, "-up for almost a week, and the only people who have walked in here have been to buy other things. Now, you don't look like a dog owner, so I thought you'd seen the sign and wanted to buy her." He let out a shrug and turned away a little—Anna realised she must have been holding him up from doing his work, but his answer had only given her new questions.
"How much is... she? Why haven't other people bought her?"
Anna watched in mild fascination as the boy's entire face lit up at the questions—she was beginning to think no one had even enquired about the dog. Maybe dorms didn't allow it or something?
"Oh, well... if she's going to a good home, you can have her for free," he answered softly. "It's better than sending her back to the pound." Waving a hand, he beckoned Anna forward. "People aren't really interested because she's a little... different. But, you seem like a really nice person. He gave her a smile at this, and Anna couldn't help but give one in return. She help out her hand in an introduction of sorts, and he took it gladly.
"I'm Anna," she said, shaking gently.
"Hiccup. Don't ask." The smile didn't falter, and they let each other's hands go. Hiccup—and she did want to ask. Desperately—led her around a shelf to a small pen in the corner of the room.
Inside was a single white Pomeranian. It—she—seemed to notice their approach, despite being asleep (or looking like it) as Anna rounded the shelf.
It didn't make any movements or noise as she approached the pen and knelt down. The dog simply sat on its haunches and looked at her, blinking with intelligent eyes. Why no one else had claimed her, Anna had no idea, and so she turned to Hiccup, brow furrowed.
"Why didn't anyone buy her?" she asked, and once more, the boy shrugged.
"They said she didn't... feel right."
Anna frowned and turned her attention back on the dog. She held a hand out and it jumped back a little, springing to its feet. It still didn't make a noise, instead cocking its head in confusion at the new object in its enclosure, and for a split second, Anna found herself actually considering taking it.
Of course she couldn't adopt a dog! They were loud and needy and expensive—they needed food and shots and trips to the vet and spaying and time. Plus, she'd never be allowed a pet, even though she technically wasn't bunking with anyone else. She was sure the dorms had a 'no pets allowed' rule.
Letting out a sigh, she bit her bottom lip. The dog was still blinking slowly at her hand, and she withdrew it slowly.
"She's a very pretty dog," Anna began, standing up, "but I'm dorming up at Southern Isles U. They'd never let me have a dog..."
As soon as she was at her full height, the dog sat down, still watching her. It was incredibly endearing, but she refused to let a legitimate 'puppy dog look' convince her otherwise.
That being said, as she arrived at Oaken's, Rapunzel already waiting for her, she couldn't quite ignore the little voice in the back of her head.
That poor puppy—that sweet and innocent little ball of fluff (and boy, there was a lot of fluff)—was to go back to the pound. Hiccup seemed disappointed, and perhaps even a little surprised, but he hadn't tried to convince her otherwise. Anna herself was slightly saddened. After all, it really wouldn't have taken much to get her to take the little darling home.
She was so distracted, she didn't even hear Rapunzel ask her a question, and only reacted when the other girl picked up her finger and dunked it in the hot chocolate that Oaken had just brought out for them (and Anna really had to talk to him about names, because 'hot chocolate' in no way justified just how scalding the liquid really was).
"Ow! 'Zel, what the hell?" she cried, sticking her finger in her mouth in an attempt to cool it down and stave off a painful burn. The brunette was entirely, irritatingly, unrepentant.
"You weren't listening to me," she said, as though it explained everything. Anna had to concede that it did explain it, but she was still slightly miffed.
And, though she didn't want to admit it, but a little annoyed because she had once again been reminded of the reason they were here, in a chocolate shop, drinking hot chocolate.
"What were you saying?" she asked, hoping to distract herself. Naturally, Rapunzel had other plans.
Rapunzel sighed. "It doesn't really matter. You're distracted. What's wrong—and please don't start talking about Hans again. It'll only make you upset."
Anna let out a small grin at that, before letting it drop. She'd actually hardly thought about Hans at all since Rapunzel left. Granted, it had only been two hours, but still. Baby steps.
Actually, as Anna was quickly discovering, she was finding herself caring more about the little puppy. Letting out a groan, she rolled her head in her hands before standing up.
"Sorry, 'Zel," she said. "I have to do something."
Dammit, she was probably going to regret this.
Making her way back to the pet shop, Anna completely ignored the little voice in her head. Of course the cons outweighed the pros, but she hadn't really considered the benefits earlier. She wanted a friend, and the dog needed an owner. That was all their was to it. If she ran into trouble, Kristoff had a pet, and though his massive... whatever it was (honestly, she had no idea of the breed, only it was massive and actually a great big hunk of adorable wrapped up in a bit of clumsy) was certainly different to a tiny little Pom, they were still both dogs.
The hard part would be to hide it from everyone, but hey, if it stayed quiet, then there was no problem!
The shop really wasn't far from Oaken's, and she actually almost walked past it.
"I'll take her!" she said as soon as she stepped through the door. The shop was empty except for a blonde girl stacking pigs ears by the counter, and Anna waited awkwardly as she yelled for Hiccup. As soon as he saw her, he beamed.
Without needing to actually pay for the dog, the 'transaction' (could it still be called as such if there wasn't actually a transfer of money?) went rather smoothly. Well, sort of.
Hiccup had moved behind the counter and was pulling out registration papers for Anna to sign when Rapunzel walked through the door.
Cousin? Not so much.
"Anna!" Rapunzel cried out, moving forward. "What are you doing?"
Anna couldn't really say much—wasn't it obvious what she was doing?—and so she simply shrugged. "I'm getting a dog."
Rapunzel actually let out a groan, and Anna had the feeling that she was holding back a facepalm.
"Anna," her cousin began, "you don't know anything about taking care of a dog. You know the dorms don't allow it, and how are you going to afford everything?"
"I have Kristoff to help me!" Anna argued. She bit her lip and softened her voice. "Look, if not for me, at least for her. She's going back to the pound if no one takes her in!" Rapunzel exhaled loudly, but didn't say anything else. The rest of the sale transpired in almost complete silence, the only words coming when Hiccup pointed at the registration papers, telling her where to sign, and when she bought an ice-blue collar.
Anna let out a single heh under her breath when she realised that she hadn't even held the dog yet.
The other girl—the blonde who had called Hiccup when Anna had first entered the shop—was the one who ended up handing her the dog. It had been squirming in the blonde's grip, and Anna couldn't help a slight smile when it calmed down in her arms. The little thing wasn't just little—she was tiny. Covered it find hair, the way it stood up had made the puppy seem so much larger than it actually was, and it was all Anna could do not to coo at it. She felt like a new mother, full of love and absolutely indescribable. Even Rapunzel couldn't stay too made at the sight of her cousin's enraptured expression.
They had almost made it out the door when Hiccup called her back.
"Wait!" he cried. "You need to put a name on the papers!"
Anna paused for a moment, blinking. She hadn't thought of that. She didn't want to give the puppy a stupid name, like 'Fido' or 'Rex' (and besides, those were boys names). She remembered watching a film with a white pet called 'Duchess' and her daughter 'Marie', but those were cats. Lifting the puppy up, looking into its light-blue eyes that matched the collar almost perfectly (it was why Anna had bought that particular colour in the first place), she let out a little smile. The dog seemed to pick up on it, her little tongue darting out in a desperate bid to like her new owner's face.
Anna turned around and walked back to the desk. Picking up the pen, she wrote down a simple name and knew it was absolutely perfect.